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@ Simple techniques can help transform lives – Says a Doctor

Report from Padma Sripada MD (1). My comments are at (2).

“My female patient in her forties has been suffering for many years with anxiety, depression and insomnia, made significantly worse due to negative interactions with a supervisor at work. Her BP (Hypertension) had been borderline high at most of her visits. She was always visibly stressed and appeared on the edge. To control her symptoms she was on two anxiety medications and a sleeping pill.

Recently when she came in, she had a very relaxed demeanor. She told me she was off both her anxiety medicines since she does not need them any more. Her BP was in perfect range.

I asked her what brought about the remarkable change. She said she decided that she would change how she reacts to her supervisor. She would do the best job she can and not let anything else affect her. She does the breathing as recommended (3). She does not use her fingers to count her breaths (4) but focuses on her breaths (5). She finds that it calms her down significantly.

I was very surprised and happy for her, since her quality of life is significantly improved. It is a clear example of how simple techniques can help transform lives.”

(1) Padma Sripada MD (My daughter)
(2) I keep copies of my handouts in each exam room and waiting hall of Dr. Padma as I work in the same office as manager. Interested patients pick them up on their own. The doctor gives directly to some patients like this one, when she thinks they may be receptive to such techniques.
(3) My key Handouts – How can I enjoy quality sleep? (PDF) and Relax anywhere, any time by ‘Focusing on breathing’ (PDF)
(4) Counting mode
(5) Feeling mode

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@ Sleeping for 10 hours without a break!

Remarkable feedback from a client Daw (not her real name), one week after attending my first class. She is an immigrant from Burma. She lived in a refugee camp in Thailand before coming to the US. She has limited vocabulary in English and is attending language classes. She was brought to me by a friend who helps her in many ways as a volunteer.

Daw was suffering from severe insomnia for the last 8 years, able to sleep for only 2 to 5 hours. My friend came to know from her previous conversations with Daw that she was kept awake thinking about her old life and people in the refugee camp in Thailand before she came to the US and the struggles of her family here.

What did she learn in the class?
In view of Daw’s language limitation, I demonstrated only the ‘Folding finger mode’ (1) to her, asking her to join me in practicing it on one hand and then the other. Then I asked her to close her eyes and practice this mode on her own, completing both hands. I was watching. She practiced perfectly. I suggested to her to practice this mode when she lied down in the bed and wanted to sleep. I also demonstrated the ‘waking up postures phase I’ (2) and suggested to try them in the morning, lying on the bed, eyes closed when she wakes up.

When did she practice it?
Daw practiced it every night and also on waking up in the morning.

How did it help her? 
Just after a week of practicing the ‘Folding mode’, Daw said that she enjoyed uninterrupted sleep for 10 hours! She was sleeping from 9 in the night to 7 in the morning. Unbelievable!

When I asked her about her thoughts and worries, she said with a smile “No thoughts. No worries.” Her face showed her relief and happiness.

My friend e-mailed these comments a day after the class
“I was amazed by the change I saw in Daw yesterday. She   was very talkative with me in the car. Previously, when I visited her , sometimes she was too tired to talk. Some days, she really struggled to function at all. I think if she can continue to have success in sleeping, her life will be hugely improved. Daw said to me after yesterday’s session that she felt she had not thanked you properly. So can I say “Thank you” now, on her behalf? You have really made a difference in her life!”

Periodic updates

I try to get periodic updates for such beginners. In this case, my friend gets to meet or talk with Daw often. On my request, she e-mails her observations to me. I am thankful to her for these updates.
Jan 21 2013:  “I saw Daw briefly on Jan 14 and asked her about her sleeping.  She said, “Good, every night, good.”
Jan 31 2013: Daw has once again asked me to let you know that she continues with “good sleeping, good eating, everything good!” She looks very well and happy.
Mar 7 2013: “Daw is still doing very well!  She seems to have a very positive attitude about life at the moment, which is great.  She is still sleeping well every night.  I have been encouraging her to teach her 14-year old daughter the technique as she has to have a lot of dental treatment and she is nervous about it – the breathing should help her relax and make the procedures less scary.”
April 2 2013: Daw had a setback with her sleep. In the first class she was taught only the ‘folding mode’. She came for another class and learned the ‘Segment mode’ (3). After a week my friend reported that Daw was able to sleep well and did not need another class.  
Oct 30 2013: “Daw is doing very well.  Her domestic problems seem to be settled and when I see her she seems to be on top of everything and in a positive frame of mind.  She often speaks of you warmly, and is appreciative of the help you gave her at a challenging time.  Honestly, I don’t know if she continues to practice the breathing, but at least she has it as a resource if life gets difficult again.”  


How many people in the world are suffering from insomnia and its multi dimensional impacts on mind and body?. How I wish this technique is taught at schools along with A, B, C, D and 1, 2, 3! The misery some people like her experience due to insomnia is avoidable with the help from this technique. It will lead to better quality of life and higher productivity. The ballooning health care cost may come down a bit.

(1) Folding finger mode
(2) Waking up routine
(3) Segment mode

Related pages
Relief from Insomnia – Success stories
How can I enjoy quality sleep?

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* No more insomnia or headaches

Feedback from a client who attended 4 of my classes (3) over last one and half months.

“I had some anxiety issues and sleep problems. I was looking for solutions for these issues not willing to take any medications. So, it was a blessing to come across the countingbreaths.com website and get to meet CS (Suryanarayana Chennapragada).

I used to have headaches almost everyday, due to my anxiety. The more I worried about my headaches, the more intense they became.

I had sleep problems as well. Once I got into bed, it used to take me about 3 hours to fall sleep. Thanks to the breathing techniques,  those problems were fading away gradually. I use the ‘segment mode’ of the technique to fall sleep (1). Now it only takes me 10-15 minutes to fall asleep!

Every time I feel a little stressed I use ‘counting mode’ (1). It helps me to feel more relaxed. The ‘911 technique’ (2) helped me to cope better with my anxiety issues. Since working with CS and using the techniques he has taught me, I feel I have a better quality of life. I feel great, no more anxiety, no more headaches and I sleep better!”

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(1) ‘How can I focus on breathing?’ using different modes.
(2) 911 mode
(3) Seminars and classes

Related pages
Relief from insomnia – Success stories 
How to enjoy quality sleep and conquer insomnia by ‘Focusing on breathing’

* My sleep quality has improved phenomenally

Received this testimonial from a Rheumatologist M.D, who attended 5 of my classes.

“Meeting Mr. Suryanarayana Chennapragada was more than a sheer coincidence. I called him hoping for ‘Srimadbhagavadgeeta’  (Geeta in short) (1) sessions, just to realize that he had come up with a very easy, yet pragmatic strategy to control the mind (one of the major aspects of Geeta).

I have benefited from this technique and continue to hope for ongoing experiences. Focusing on breath (2) using the ‘tip mode’ and ‘counting mode’ has been very beneficial to calm the mind. My sleep quality has improved phenomenally and so has the ability to reduce the impact of the stressors of day to day life.

Both our children have learnt the technique from him and hopefully will continue to reap the benefits. They are realizing their inner strength every day through constant practice.

We are even hoping that Mr. Suryanarayana will teach this technique to my younger sister, who is deaf; and her daughter (both visiting us from India) so that they can improve their quality of life even back home.

I would very strongly recommend this simple and effective technique to anybody and everybody. Thanks to Mr. Suryanarayana for being a catalyst in our evolution!”

(1) An ancient spiritual text from India known World over
(2) How can I focus on breathing?

Related pages
How to enjoy quality sleep and conquer insomnia
Relief from insomnia – Success stories

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